I came to a realization while on our family cruise. The painful physical symptoms I've been experiencing for almost two years were almost gone by week's end. It was then that I realized that my de-stressing strategy at home isn't working.
I'm sure you've heard the ol' "do something just for YOU, everyday" advice, especially if you're a woman. Everyone sings the praises of "me time".
I take time for myself each day. I might ride my bike for 30 minutes, or take a long bath at the end of the day, or go walking or read.
And nothing's changing with my stress level and physical symptoms.
I make a conscious effort to not complain but at times my friends or family can see my stress, even just the way I may wince in pain as I change positions. They say, "Have you been taking some time off each day to do something just for you?"
[Insert puzzled look here...] "Really?"
"Yes, really. I promise."
And I'm telling the truth.
But thirty to sixty minutes of "me time" doesn't revitalize your life if you're carrying some things God doesn't want you to carry.
Maybe you find yourself in a similar situation.
So...what to do?
I'm not sure yet. But I know there are solutions even if I don't know what they are yet.
When I look at my situation I'm tempted to say things like:
"There aren't any other choices..."
"I've tried everything..."
"There's nothing else I can do..."
this blog by Seth Godin.
There are some choices I'm probably avoiding because they are painful and others I don't know about. Sometimes God has a solution we've never imagined (because He's God -- His ways/thoughts are higher than ours) and sometimes friends suggest a choice never thought of.
The main point here is, I'm not powerless and neither are you.
We do have choices.
We can make course corrections and do things differently even if we don't know what different looks like yet.
Don't believe the lie that things have to stay like they are, or that you have no options. When someone doesn't give you an option, create one.